Shock wave equation of state of serpentine to 150 GPa: implications for the occurrence of water in the Earth's lower mantle

James Tyburczy, T. S. Duffy, T. J. Ahrens, M. A. Lange

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The shock equation of state of serpentine has been determined to 150 GPa. Four distinct regions occur along the Hugoniot: a low-pressure phase, a mixed phase region, a high-pressure phase, and a very high pressure phase. Thermodynamic calculations indicate that under equilibrium conditions, serpentine would decompose to oxides plus water at conditions below 10 GPa along the Hugoniot. The high-pressure density and sound speed of an H2O-rich magnesium silicate determined from shock equation of state experiments indicate that the observed seismic properties of the lower mantle allow the existence of several weight percent of water in the lower mantle. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18,011-18,027
JournalJournal of geophysical research
Issue numberB11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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